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UK’s Ministry of Defence brings in nuclear bigwig to run the £41bn programme for Dreadnought nuclear missile submarines

MoD appoints nuclear chief to help keep Dreadnought submarines on course, Telegraph UK,    industry editor 14 APRIL 2017   A Treasury troubleshooter has been brought in to run Britain’s military nuclear programmes with a remit to keep the massive Trident replacement submarine programme on track.

Civil servant Julian Kelly will join the Ministry of Defence in May in the new position of director-general nuclear, where he will be responsible for Britain’s nuclear submarines, nuclear warheads and day-to-day policy.

Top of his to do list in the £200,000-a-year role will be ensuring the £41bn programme to build the next generation of Dreadnought nuclear missile submarines for the Royal Navy stays on track. A key task will be working with the soon-to-be appointed head of the Submarine Delivery Authority (SDA), an arm’s-length body created to ensure the Dreadnought programme meets its targets.

The Telegraph understands that final interviews for this role took place in past fortnight, with top engineers and executives being lined up as the MoD looks to tap industry for its experience in running huge projects on time and budget.

The £500,000-a-year job as SDA chief executive is one of the highest paid public roles, reflecting the immense importance of the Trident programme to the UK’s security, with the Navy tasked with keeping one submarine armed with nuclear missiles at sea at all times.

Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon has repeatedly warned how critical Britain’s nuclear programmes are, saying delivery of the new submarines “cannot and must not slip”.
Suppliers including BAE Systems, which is leading overall programme, and Rolls-Royce, which is building the submarines’ nuclear powerplants, have been warned of a “pain and gain” regime to contracts. This will mean they will share the results of coming in under budget but cost over-runs and delays will result in heavy penalties.

“We will absolutely challenge BAE and other suppliers such as Rolls-Royce,” the Defence Secretary has warned. “They are going to be incentivised to keep the targets and they will suffer if they don’t.”

Building the four new Dreadnought submarines is seen as the biggest financial risk the MoD faces. Although the work has been costed at £31bn, a £10bn contingency was added on reflecting the huge complexity of the task and vital importance on being on time, with the current Vanguard class missile submarines coming to the end of their lives in the 2030s……


April 15, 2017 - Posted by | UK, weapons and war

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